Winter and the Weight We Put On
Much as nature sheds a layer of snow, exposing the sun to the first blades of grass, so we shed in the spring a layer of clothing. And reveal the extra pounds we packed on over the winter. Most people end the cold months with a bit of extra padding here and there. It's an almost common phenomenon.
We walk less, we sleep more, and we indulge in delicious meals and desserts without counting the calories. The explanations for this winter weight gain seem reasonable. But even those who maintain a strict diet are likely to find it harder in winter to lose weight. And our bodies are to blame for it.
Melatonin is a hormone in animals and humans that governs the day-night cycle. The levels in the blood affect our habits of sleep. Babies have higher amounts of melatonin than teens, so they sleep more. Teens have fewer, but later in the day, the highest levels are reached. This is why teens tend to sleep until noon and stay up until late. Our melatonin levels drop as we get older, which is why the elderly usually need less sleep.
Melatonin development is caused by darkness when it is time to sleep. And because days are shorter in winter, our development of melatonin increases. That implies that we're hibernating, doing less, and sitting more. And in certain individuals, melatonin often affects their appetite, making them want something to eat.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/winter-and-weight-we-put-on/ by Jaya Mckeown on 2021-01-21T09:37:08.990Z
Vitamin D, which plays an important role in bone and skin protection, is a very useful drug. But it also helps break down the fat in our bodies. Higher vitamin D and calcium intake may assist with diet-related fat loss, according to a 2010 report. Although, since in the winter, our body generates less of it, which limits the efficacy of most diets.
When it is cold, our body consumes more calories, as it needs more energy to keep us warm. But this overconsumption of resources, which translates into a greater appetite, needs to be compensated for. Over the thousands of years of our evolution, this has been imprinted on our minds, which means that cold will still make us hungry.
Although gaining weight in winter is natural, we can't put it all on our metabolism. The holidays overflowing with desserts are also to blame for our own inability to get off the couch. Let's face it: In winter, we are lazier. And this usually translates into some additional padding collected on our stomachs.